Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 251

++ International Women’s Day, and many have written about women in the MEK’s Manez camp. They talk of the historic abuse of women members by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, the slavery situation and the specific problems for women who don’t have any place to go if they run away. Many have compared their situation with domestic violence and coercive control. They highlight the financial dependence of the women, especially now that they are in their 60s and 70s. On the other side of this is Maryam Rajavi’s pretence at being a feminist.
++ The anniversary of the death of Dr Mohammad Mossadegh prompted Maryam Rajavi, as usual, to jump on the publicity bandwagon. In a complete irrelevance Rajavi posed for photos in front of a picture of Mossadegh. Many commentators have written critical articles about her, assessing her as the direct opposite of Mossadegh. Mossadegh was overthrown by a CIA coup, Maryam Rajavi is proud of being a mercenary for the CIA. Some linked this to her history of selling herself to Saddam and now the Saudis.
++ In the week of Chaharshanbeh Souri, several people have written about the MEK and Rajavi’s long tradition of every year asking people to rise up against their government, followed by publishing photoshopped images of fireworks during the celebrations and claiming these are from disturbances. Even though every year these photoshopped images are exposed by the media and internet searches as fake, Rajavi has never given up and this has now become an annual joke for the people.
++ A group of former MEK women members were invited to participate in an inter-parliamentary committee meeting organized by the European Parliament’s Gender Equality Committee. After the meeting they caught up with a relaxed looking Federica Mogherini who was happy to pose for photos with them. This reminded several people of Maryam Rajavi’s last fateful and imposed visit to the EUP when Mogherini avoided her like the plague and when Rajavi’s henchmen violently attacked critics and by-standers just outside the parliament building.

In English:
++ An article by Anne Khodabandeh published by Lobelog asked ‘Are regime change and the MEK running out of road’. Describing the American version of violent regime change as a bandwagon, Khodabandeh pictured the MEK as paying passengers with the likes of John Bolton doing the driving. However, with its unsolvable internal problems, which are being exposed by western reporters, the MEK cannot progress its agenda. If the MEK – as the only tool in the regime change toolbox – are absent, does it signal that the whole regime change shebang is running out of road?
++ Fars News reported on a visit by Code Pink activists and others to Iran. Medea Benjamin, speaking at a conference at the FNA College of Journalism in Tehran, criticised the relationship between some members of the US Congress and groups like the MEK. Speaking openly in Iran, Benjamin clarified that she does not endorse the behaviour or beliefs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but she and other activists are against war and violence to resolve the standoff between the US and Iran.
++ Ali Alavi – whose brother escaped the MEK some time ago – has joined the blogging platform on Iran Interlink (after some persuasion). He agreed to write about Iranian views of the MEK (a view often overlooked in western analysis). Alavi is interested in conveying the views of Iranians inside Iran and outside about the MEK. We look forward to his writing.
++ Ebrahim Khodabandeh’s latest blog concerns the MEK’s charity in the UK which openly solicits donations for the MEK – a political entity. This is a clear breach of the Charity Commission rules which bans charities from promoting political agendas.
March 15, 2019

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